Nome Joint Utility is working on a broken budget—a financial plan that is unbalanced and unrealistic. That’s the takeaway from the Rural Utility Business Advisor report, or RUBA—delivered to the Nome City Council and utility board this week.
A rate consultant told the Nome City Council and the Nome Utility Board that electric rates should go up by as much as 13 percent, and water/sewer rates by nearly 16 percent.
Amid discussions of the still-forming city marijuana laws, the Nome City Council also approved an electricity rate hike and operating budget for the city utility.
An audit for 2013 finds the accounting practices for the city’s utility are sound, but operating at a loss that could lead to debt struggles down the road if changes aren’t made.
On budget with the city’s new museum, library, and cultural center, the City Council addressed the utility’s loans before discussing how to spend an NSEDC donation and how to eventually deal with legal marijuana sales.
At the heart of Monday’s meeting with the Nome Joint Utility and City Council was a question: can NJUS use part of the $2.2 million credit line from the city to pay for fuel?
After weeks of budget work sessions, the Nome Joint Utility has finally approved its financial plan for the new year.
Cutting fluoridation to weekdays, and a possible rate hike, were just some of the proposals at Saturday’s meeting to trim the utility’s 2015 budget.
“Basically we need to figure out how to get $1 million closer than we are today,” Utility Manager John Handeland said of the group’s 2015 budget.
Focused on city and utility employee contracts, the Nome City Council’s proposal to collect property tax on aircraft died on the table after failing to get sufficient votes.